Saturday, September 24, 2016

a couple of multiples (Blue Mountains)

Returned to the THO.
Instrument: Celestron 11-inch SCT
Mount: NexStar GPS alt-az
Method: Go To
Opened the roof and aligned the 'scope. Connected the computer. Shut down Evernote. Turned off the radio. John Repeat Dance was still acting strange: no audio. Forgot the mouse; battled with touchpad.

Slewed to Alpheratz. Almost straight up. Noted the multi-star system nearby, HR 8, at the edge of the field. A quad on the Andromeda-Pegasus border.

Noted the eyepiece was dirty.

A was bright.

There was a line of stars below or to the south-west. The line was oriented north-west to south-east. About 4 or 5 stars.

HR 8 A was a lovely yellow-orange. All the others were a similar colour.

B was the west-most or left-most star. Brighter than C-D. But dimmer than the far-right star.

The east-most stars were not related.

I could not split the C and D stars. C looked really dim, in the software. Magnitude 12 for C; 10 for D.

Never thought about that before that elements of a multi-star, or even a simple double star, could be in different constellations.

A cloud made the stars fade out. Not a good night to go for galaxies...

Added HR 8 aka STT 549 to my observing list.

I wanted to dive a bit deeper but I did not have my 26mm with me (on loan to Denise). Looked in the N11 kit. Nothing in that range. So I grabbed my 20mm Pentax. [ed: Totally forgot about the Celestron E-Lux I had with me...]

Considered, again, that an outrigger tray or table would be helpful. The computer could go there, freeing up the space on the inner tray for eyepieces. Really the best place to avoid them falling off or rolling away.

Could not see the C star at the higher power.

The seeing was not good.

After syncing, I slewed to the next target in Pegasus. PPM 89370. aka A 429.

Tight pair. I spotted the A and B stars. Delicate. SkyTools said there was a C star nearby. In the chart, it showed as mag 10.1; in the Object Information, 9.2. Oriented left-right for me.

[ed: Upon review, I think I was seeing the A and C stars. ST3P said the are separated by 5.2 seconds of arc; B however is 0.5"!]

I was tired.

Bad skies. Gah! I saw lots of clouds. Mottled clouds. Clouded out again. Damn it.

Decided that since Hibernate mode is not really working well for me, there was no point using it. I powered off the mount.

Fair session. Had high hopes but the clouds dashed that. Computer worked better this time.

Returned to my bed.


Did some follow-up on OΣ 549. And then some more on PPM 89370.

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